Housing Health and safety rating system (HHSRS) and the next steps
HHSRS was introduced by the Housing Act 2004 but only came into force in April 2006 and has remained in place and unchanged. There are currently 29 hazards that the local authority will investigate if a property visit is requested by the occupier where the landlord or their agent has failed to respond or respond adequately A hazard is either disrepair, a deficiency or something else in the property that could be a hazard to the most vulnerable person who may occupy or visit the property. Typically this is likely to be the very young or very old. Amongst the most common hazards are excess cold/ heat, the risk of falls and damp and mould.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) published a white paper in June 2022, introducing a plan to fundamentally reform the sector including the proposal to improve housing quality in the private rented sector through the Decent Homes Standard.
Following a broad based review DLUHC has confirmed that key changes will be introduced to the HHSRS through regulation after the conclusion of the Decent Homes Standard review. The key changes are:
reducing the number of hazards from 29 to 21, by combining some of the categories,
make the language in the reports easier for landlords and tenants to understand,
ensure assessments are consistent, quick and a solid base for effective enforcement
ensure fire risk assessments for tall buildings are assessed effectively by combining fire hazard with explosions in the dwelling and the likelihood of harm.
Please see here for the full report